Forming solid partnerships can be very valuable and important for businesses, both large and small. However, good partnerships take time to develop, and require significant effort to sustain. A true partnership is a serious relationship between two parties that share common goals and have mutually agreed to join forces together to achieve something specific. Having the right partner – and the right partnership arrangement – can provide a very powerful boost for your business and can lead to some lucky opportunities being uncovered.
However, partnerships are a double-edged sword. They require significant effort, a great deal of mutual trust, and a champion on each side to manage the relationship in order to work. Therefore, having the right partner – and the right partnership arrangement – can provide a very powerful boost for your business and can lead to some lucky opportunities being uncovered by you and your partner organization. However, partnerships are not something that you should enter into casually because the wrong partnership can defeat morale and in the worst-case scenarios, destroy a business.
Weekly Lesson Twelve (Try this…)
Before committing to a new business partnership address the questions below. If you aren’t pleased with your response, think about what changes you need to make to improve the opportunity for success with current or future partnerships, for your benefit as well as the benefit of your company.
1. Have you clearly defined your most important goals, and made sure that your prospective partner shares those same goals and vision?
2. Have you assessed what specific gaps – in skills, in relationships, or in any other assets – this partner needs to fill in order to help you succeed?
3. Have you determined how you will help him/her succeed based on the skills or assets you bring to the relationship?
4. Is it clear that both parties stand to benefit more from being partners in this arrangement than working separately? Is this a win-win arrangement or is the scale unbalanced?